The Case for the Brians in KC

The Case for the Brians in KC

With Romeo Crennel officially being named the 12th head coach in the Kansas City Chiefs history, it's time to move on to his staff. What he does next in choosing someone to run the offensive will determine the length of his professional tenure as head coach.

There is no question that in order for the Chiefs to turn the corner next season, the OC will have to be creative, use the tools he has and upgrade the tools he doesn't have. The names are flowing and I think it really is down to a couple of people general manager Scott Pioli and Crennel may choose. Brian Schottenheimer who is the incumbent OC for the New York Jets and Brian Daboll who holds the same position with the Miami Dolphins.

Brian Schottenheimer would seem to have the edge for a couple of reasons. His father has been advising Clark Hunt for the last few months and as the history of the Kansas City Chiefs has proven, "blood" is thicker than water for the Chiefs family. Plus with reports Brian won't be returning to the Jets as offensive coordinator in 2012, this makes things even more interesting for the Chiefs.

I believe the Hunts feel a degree of loyalty to Marty and family. I also feel that young Schottenheimer has never been allowed the latitude to display his ability with the Jets. He actually was a candidate for head coach and was passed over for Rex Ryan.

From all accounts, Ryan is somewhat of a micromanager and it is looking more and more that general manager Mike Tannenbaum and owner Woody Johnson will draw the leash tighter in the upcoming months.

Officially, there has been no indication that Schottenheimer is even interested and Dolphin's OC Brian Daboll's name has been connected with the Chiefs in the last couple of days. Let's take a look at both possibilities.

In 2006, Schottenheimer was named as the Jets offensive coordinator after a stint with the Marty Schottenheimer-led Chargers as the QB coach. He was hired in under then Jets head coach Eric Mangini.

The Jets were 10-6 in 2006 with the 25th ranked offense. They were 17th in passing and 20th in rushing. Chad Pennington was the 12th ranked passer. He was 313-485 for 3,392 yards passing with 17 touchdowns and 16 interceptions with a completion percentage of 64.5. Pennington compiled an 82.6 passer rating. Cedric Houston was the 35th ranked runner. He ran 113 times for 384 yards and 5 touchdowns. Leon Washington, ranking 41st, added another 150 carries for 650 yards and 4 touchdowns.

In 2007, the Jets were 4-12 with the 26th ranked offense. They were 25th in passing and 19th in rushing. Chad Pennington was the 15th ranked passer. He was 179-260 for 1,765 yards passing with 10 touchdowns and 6 interceptions with a completion percentage of 68.8. Pennington compiled an 86.1 passer rating. Kellen Clemens filled in for Pennington in an injury shortened year and went 130-250 for 1,529 yards passing with 5 touchdowns and 10 interceptions with a completion percentage of 52.0. Clemens compiled a 60.9 passer rating. Thomas Jones was the 18th ranked runner. He ran 310 times for 1,119 yards and 1 touchdown. Leon Washington added another 71 carries for 353 yards and 3 scores.

In 2008, the Jets were 9-7 with the 16th ranked offense. They were 16th in passing and 9th in rushing. Brett Favre was the 21st ranked passer. He was 343-522 for 3,472 yards passing with 22 touchdowns and 22 interceptions with a completion percentage of 65.7. Favre compiled an 81.0 passer rating. Also, Thomas Jones was the 8th ranked runner. He ran 290 times for 1,312 yards and 13 touchdowns. This was the first year the Jets had a top ten runner under Schottenhiemer's offense.

In Rex Ryan's first year as head coach, the 2009 New York Jets were 9-7 with the 20th ranked offense. They were 31st in passing and 1st in rushing. Rookie Mark Sanchez was the 28th ranked passer. He was 196-364 for 2,444 yards passing with 12 touchdowns and 20 interceptions with a completion percentage of 53.8. Sanchez compiled a 63.0 passer rating. Thomas Jones was the 4th ranked runner. He ran 331 times for 1,402 yards and 14 touchdowns. Shonn Greene ran 108 times for 540 yards and 2 scores while Leon Washington added another 72 carries for 331 yards.

The 2010 New York Jets were 11-5 with the 11th ranked offense. They were 22nd in passing and 4th in rushing. Mark Sanchez was the 27th ranked passer. He was 278-507 for 3,291 yards passing with 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions with a completion percentage of 54.8. Sanchez compiled a 75.3 passer rating. LaDainian Tomlinson was the 21st ranked runner. He ran 219 times for 914 yards and 6 touchdowns. Shonn Greene was the 31st ranked runner and carried 185 times for 766 yards and 2 scores while Joe McKnight added another 39 carries for 189 yards.

In 2011, the Jets were 8-8 with the 25th ranked offense. They were 21st in passing and 22nd in rushing. Mark Sanchez was the 23rd ranked passer. He was 308-543 for 3,474 yards passing with 26 touchdowns and 18 interceptions with a completion percentage of 56.7. Sanchez compiled a 78.2 passer rating. Shonn Greene was the 19th ranked runner. He ran 253 times for 1,054 yards and 6 touchdowns.

Several things jump out at me. Mark Sanchez has improved every year but has yet to make that long stride to a top ten QB. Schottenheimer has the same style of offense that his father preferred. Not typical Marty-ball but definitely smash-mouth.

His offensive ranking has never been top ten but it's never been ranked the lowest. He's had strong rushers and it looks like his style has taken on some of Al Saunders complexity. I would venture to say that his offense has the potential to fit Kansas City skill players quite well. I'll add that if Schottenheimer has access to a better than average QB and a strong runner, he could easily have a top ten offense.

The multiple looks, shifts and play calling that young Schottenheimer has displayed could attract top offensive talent for depth as well as complimentary skill players such as a Ray Rice or Matt Forte at running back. Even a Steve Johnson or Brandon Lloyd at wideout.

To me Brian Schottenheimer would be a good fit for the Chiefs and could be the guy that helps the team turn the corner on offense in 2012.

But what about the other Brian?

OC Candidate Brian Daboll jumped ship from Cleveland to Miami. Might he jump to the Chiefs in 2012?
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In 2009, Brian Daboll was hired as the Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator by then head coach Eric Mangini. He was the quarterbacks coach for the Jets from 2007-2008 under Brian Schottenheimer and Mangini. The obvious common thread for both Brians has been Eric Mangini. I won't go into my assessment of Mangini-led teams but his results were, at the least, disappointing. The Browns were 5-11 in 2009 with the 32nd ranked offense. They were 32nd in passing and 8th in rushing. Under center was Brady Quinn and he was the 27th ranked passer. He was 136-256 for 1,339 yards passing with 8 touchdowns and 7 interceptions with a completion percentage of 53.1. Quinn compiled a 67.2 passer rating. Jerome Harrison was the 20th ranked runner. He ran 194 times for 862 yards and 5 touchdowns. Jamal Lewis was the 26th ranked runner and added another 143 carries for 500 yards. Chris Jennings ran 63 times for 220 yards and 1 touchdown.

In 2010, the Browns were 5-11 with the 29th ranked offense. They were 29th in passing and 20th in rushing. The Browns were unable to field a ranked passer and the job went from Jake Delhomme to Seneca Wallace and finally rookie Colt McCoy and back to Delhomme after injuries to both Wallace and McCoy. Delhomme was 93-149 for 872 yards passing with 2 touchdowns and 7 interceptions with a completion percentage of 62.4. Delhomme compiled a 63.4 passer rating. Wallace was 64-101 for 694 yards passing with 4 touchdowns and 2 interceptions with a completion percentage of 63.4. Wallace compiled an 88.5 passer rating. McCoy was 135-222 for 1,576 yards passing with 6 touchdowns and 9 interceptions with a completion percentage of 60.8. McCoy compiled a 74.5 passer rating. Peyton Hillis was the 15th ranked runner. He ran 270 times for 1,177 yards and 11 touchdowns.

At the end of the 2010 season, Browns team president and manager of football operations Mike Holmgren fired Eric Mangini and his staff after going 10-22 in two years with no significant improvement. Daboll was subsequently hired by Miami Dolphins head coach Steve Sparano as their OC for 2011.

In 2011, the Dolphins were 6-10 with the 22nd ranked offense. They were 23rd in passing and 11th in rushing. Matt Moore was the 12th ranked passer. He was 210-347 for 2,497 yards passing with 16 touchdowns and 9 interceptions with a completion percentage of 60.5. Moore compiled an 87.1 passer rating. Reggie Bush was the 16th ranked runner. He ran 216 times for 1,086 yards and 6 touchdowns. Daniel Thomas added 165 carries for 581 yards.

Even after changing teams, Daboll's offensive numbers improved. It's hard to shake the similarity in both Daboll's and Schottenheimer's offense. It's obvious to me that Daboll was heavily influenced by Schottenheimer. If you watch both offenses at work, they both utilize the typical shifts and movements that are supposed to open running lanes. They also rely on a lot of play action thus allowing the running game to help dominate opponents when executed correctly.

Both of their styles fit Kansas City's personnel. If you look even further back, both of these offenses mirror the old AFL in the style of run and shoot. I wouldn't characterize either one as a pure "West Coast" style with the long game as the primary weapon. I see a great deal of the passing game being used to open the run. This is where both tend to look like Martyball.

Both Schottenheimer's and Daboll's offenses improved when the personnel was upgraded. In 2008 with the addition of Brett Favre and Thomas Jones ability to run, the Jets had a competitive team. If it wasn't for the fact that they dwell in the AFC East, it could've been very interesting. In 2010 with the addition of Peyton Hillis, the Browns had a 1,000 yard rusher.

I believe either one of these coordinators could help the Chiefs to bring respectability back to their game. I give Schottenheimer the edge because of his connections to the Chiefs. That doesn't mean he'll be offered the job but I think both men will be the last two standing.

In the final determination, Romeo Crennel will have to choose the offensive scheme that he feels exploits the strengths of existing personnel with an eye on the future. Scott Pioli will be charged with acquiring the personnel that will achieve the best depth at all positions. I am anxious to see how daring or how conservative the ultimate choice will be. Now that the smoke has cleared and the Chiefs are on the cusp of some great things, the choice will determine not only the future of the team but Scott Pioli and Romeo Crennel as well.

So which Brian do you want in KC as the next OC?

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